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Reputation

  • 'Tis better never to be named than to be ill spoken of.

  • Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.

  • Always providing you have enough courage — or money — you can do without a reputation.

  • ... it is worse to have a good thing that is not true believed about you, than a bad.

    • Jessamyn West,
    • "Reverdy," Collected Stories of Jessamyn West ()
  • Trust and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain.

  • [On journalists:] ... however lyingly libellous they may be: nobody can seriously hurt the reputation of a Great person. If he is hurt: he is not Great. They can but scratch at his skin with their mice nails.

  • I wrote the story myself. It's about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.

    • Mae West,
    • in Jim Koch, "A Way With Words," The New York Times ()
  • I couldn't live my reputation down — all right then, I'd live up to it.

  • Reputations are shaped not by facts but by prejudices.

  • Good repute is water carried in a sieve. / Only if you can grasp the wind in your fist / or hold an elephant chained secure with a hair / will you maybe succeed in keeping your good name clear.

    • Lalleswari,
    • 14th cent., in Joanna Bankier and Deirdre Lashgari, eds., Women Poets of the World ()
  • The thing that must be preserved in all situations whatever is the reputation of one's character.

    • Madame de Staël,
    • memorandum to Louis XVI (1792), in J. Christopher Herold, Mistress to an Age: A Life of Madame de Staël ()
  • Length of days has also told against her reputation; there is always sympathy for those who early leave the scene — always speculation as to great accomplishments cruelly missed ...

  • Personal power is derived from three attributes: credibility, integrity, and trust. Each of these is an outcome of our words and deeds. Each is earned in the moment, each is created over a lifetime, and each is a hallmark of our character insofar as we are consistent in our actions. Our reputation can be obliterated in the blink of an eye. We bank our credibility, integrity, and trust in successive interactions and transactions with others. For many the account is low. For some it does not exist. For others, the account has been emptied. Whether the account is depleted or building, it is only as full as the last transaction.

  • How we use power and which forms of power we use create our reputations. Our reputations are critical to our success. They are determined not only by our behavior but by the subtle and not so subtle strategies we use, including whether we present a nonthreatening image, align with powerful others, develop liaisons, use trade-offs, and diffuse opposition. Our reputations, more than anything else, determine the degree of personal power we have.

  • One of the fruits of longevity is establishing a reputation you may not deserve.

  • If a man's public record be a clear one, if he has kept his pledges before the world, I do not inquire what his private life may have been. I judge a man by his convictions of right, for a man's principles are the result of his better judgment, whilst his practice is influenced by his associations.

    • Susan B. Anthony,
    • in Lynn Sherr, ed., Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words ()
  • Reputation is what others think about you. What's far more important is character, because that is what you think about yourself.

    • Billie Jean King,
    • in Marlo Thomas, ed., The Right Words at the Right Time ()
  • Reputation is what folks say about us: Character is what God knows about us.

  • Reputation ... is as often gained without merit as lost without a crime ...

  • Character builds slowly, but it can be torn down with incredible swiftness.